E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

Started Sep 7, 2010 | Discussions
Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
This is my video, by the way...

snegron wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UPzhidedFU

Thanks for the link! It seems pretty fast.

I'm the author of the above video, btw. I haven't used an LX3, so I can't say whether the E-PL1 one is faster here, but the lagginess of the viewfinder blackout, as well as the jerkiness is pretty apparent. That's not the video on YouTube stuttering - the camera really jerks like that. Very irritating, imo.

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ttan98 Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Re: This is my video, by the way...

Hi,

I like to make further comments on the speed of E-PL1 which is related to improving the autofocus and also the settings hence the speed of this camera.

What VisualFx said was correct and I did not take that into account. To improve the speed and focus please do the following:

1. Switch face detection off
2. change shooting to sequential shooting(3 fps)
3. Change the focus box to smaller hence improving focus speed.

By performing the above you would surely improve the speed. By how much I had not measured it. Hope this helps.

ttan98 Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Re: E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

Hi,

Please read my comments above, after the changes I suggested you will improve the speed. The image quality is surely equal and at times better than LX3(I have use E-PL1 for a few days only) however there are a few "irritants" which you should be well aware before buying this camera.

1. It is noisier than LX3, the noise comes from the motor when focus and shooting.
2. the barrel of the lens " rattles" slightly.

3. Focusing the cameras needs to get use to, if you do it "incorrectly" you can get blur images. There is a method to get it right and get consistently good images, I learnt it from this forum. By reducing the focus box you improve way you focus and hence the speed of the camera.

hope the above helps. I am happy with my purchase you can also change the lens to use "Old or Legacy" to take sharp images.

OP snegron Regular Member • Posts: 499
Re: This is my video, by the way...

Sam Bennett wrote:

snegron wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UPzhidedFU

Thanks for the link! It seems pretty fast.

I'm the author of the above video, btw. I haven't used an LX3, so I can't say whether the E-PL1 one is faster here, but the lagginess of the viewfinder blackout, as well as the jerkiness is pretty apparent. That's not the video on YouTube stuttering - the camera really jerks like that. Very irritating, imo.

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Thanks posting the video! The impression I got from the video was that it was a pretty fast, responsive camera! I couldn't see your thumb in the video, so I am judging just by what you showed on the LCD. I'm curious though, why did you send it back?

p.s. Absolutely beautiful baby!

Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
Re: This is my video, by the way...

snegron wrote:

Thanks posting the video! The impression I got from the video was that it was a pretty fast, responsive camera!

I guess what your frame of reference is. Mine is a long series of dSLRs, including 1 Series Canons and most recently the D700 (which I still own). I already had the GF1 for a few months at that point.

I'm curious though, why did you send it back?

It was a number of things. First off, in all honesty, money was kind of tight around that period and so as a good gesture to my wife, I made the sacrifice to return the E-PL1. Second, I just didn't enjoy shooting with the E-PL1 as much as I did with the GF1.

While others have suggested switching of Face Detect AF to speed things up (which does help a bit, I found out later) I personally love shooting with the Face Detect for portraiture. It allows me so much more freedom in the sorts of angles I shoot at, being able to quickly reframe for optimal composition without having to fuss with the AF point, etc. It works very well on the GF1, and at no cost to shooting speed.

I was hoping to keep the E-PL1 around so I could get familiar with the Olympus system. I really love the flexibility of their Custom Settings, the JPEG output was great, the Art Filters are a lot of fun, having IBIS with 3rd party glass was nice, etc. But at the end of the day, if I feel that a camera is getting in the way of capturing the images I want, it doesn't make a lot of sense keeping it around.

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Tim in upstate NY
Tim in upstate NY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: No Best Buy in Florida?

Sam Bennett wrote:

snegron wrote:

Unfortunately there are no places anywhere near me that sell the E-PL1 or the GF1. Most of the cameras I have purchased over the years have been through B&H.

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

. . . The Best Buy here where I live in upstate NY doesn't carry the E-PL1. Aside from a slew of P&S's, there were three different Canon DSLR's (two Rebels and the 50D) and one Nikon D3000. Last time I looked was about a week ago.

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Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
Sometimes you really have to look...

Tim in upstate NY wrote:

Sam Bennett wrote:

snegron wrote:

Unfortunately there are no places anywhere near me that sell the E-PL1 or the GF1. Most of the cameras I have purchased over the years have been through B&H.

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

. . . The Best Buy here where I live in upstate NY doesn't carry the E-PL1. Aside from a slew of P&S's, there were three different Canon DSLR's (two Rebels and the 50D) and one Nikon D3000. Last time I looked was about a week ago.

We have a few different locations here, and they're not always in te same spot. Sometimes the newer cameras are actually in a case, not out with the other cameras.
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2005magnum Veteran Member • Posts: 4,473
Re: E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

I have Nikon equipment. I did own a G1. It was a fine camera, but it was to much like shooting a smaller Nikon. I wanted more of a point and shoot with good IQ. The E-PL1 is a heck of a lot of fun to shoot and to use. I prefer the Oly colors to the Panasonic. Also, I prefer the in body stabilization which allows me to buy any lens made for the micro 4/3 system or adapt any lens to the body (how about those old Leicas) with image stabilization.

here is a gallery of images I took over Memorial Day:

http://digitalphotonut.zenfolio.com/p1070927071
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Tim in upstate NY
Tim in upstate NY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: Sometimes you really have to look...

Sam Bennett wrote:

Tim in upstate NY wrote:

Sam Bennett wrote:

snegron wrote:

Unfortunately there are no places anywhere near me that sell the E-PL1 or the GF1. Most of the cameras I have purchased over the years have been through B&H.

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

. . . The Best Buy here where I live in upstate NY doesn't carry the E-PL1. Aside from a slew of P&S's, there were three different Canon DSLR's (two Rebels and the 50D) and one Nikon D3000. Last time I looked was about a week ago.

We have a few different locations here, and they're not always in te same spot. Sometimes the newer cameras are actually in a case, not out with the other cameras.

. . . I actually asked them why they didn't have it in stock. They acted like they'd never heard of it and blew me off. These sales people in the big discount stores are generally like that in my experience. If you ask about something that they don't have, the response is often to just try to get you to move on. If I was working for a sales commision, I'd probably do the same.

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Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
Re: Sometimes you really have to look...

Tim in upstate NY wrote:

. . . I actually asked them why they didn't have it in stock. They acted like they'd never heard of it and blew me off. These sales people in the big discount stores are generally like that in my experience. If you ask about something that they don't have, the response is often to just try to get you to move on. If I was working for a sales commision, I'd probably do the same.

Ah, that sucks. When the E-PL1 first hit BB I really had to work to find one and buy it. BB didn't have it in the system as the E-PL1, so you had to manual peruse the "dSLR" section to find it. The E-PL1 wasn't in the case, but once we found it in the system they clearly had stock (I had checked online before I came). Once we knew it was in stock, the guy had to look through nearly every bin in the camera section to find it. The situation is a bit better now since they're usually out with the dSLRs, but some still have them in the case (usually alongside the NEX3).

Anyway, it's certainly possible your BB's don't stock everything, but you might want to check stock locally for this item:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Olympus+-+PEN+12.3-Megapixel+Digital+Camera+-+Black/9769158.p?id=1218170032854&skuId=9769158&st=E-PL1&cp=1&lp=1

If they show stock, don't leave until they're able to find one for you. As you said, sometimes the BB personnel can be a bit clueless.

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Bilgy_no1
Bilgy_no1 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,880
Re: E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

snegron wrote:

I have read the reviews of the E-PL1 here and I am looking into getting one. I currently have a Nikon D1X with buffer upgrade and a D200. I also have a Lumix LX3 and a TS1.

I would like a faster compact camera than my LX3 for travel and day to day carry. I find that the weight of either my D1X or my D200 with my Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 is a bit too much for day to day carry. I really like my LX3, but I find it to be a bit slow. I sometimes shoot with the external optical viewfinder attached on my LX3, and it seems to be a bit faster but not as fast as I'd like it to be.

I know I probably won't get the speed of a DSLR with an E-PL1, but I have had faster point and shoots in the past (my old Lumix FZ-50 was faster than my LX3). I have the latest firmware upgrade in my LX3, but it simply feels a bit too slow.

I like the EP2, but I don't want to spend too much money at this time. The review of the E-PL1 here indicates that DSLR users will not be too thrilled with it, but I'm wondering if there are any DSLR users here who have been using an E-PL1 frequently?

By 'fast' I assume that you're talking about AF? I own the E-PL1 coming from Olympus DSLR's. I find that it focuses plenty fast. It is not as fast to focus as my E-520, but I've not had any problems with it. Maybe I'm not so demanding?

I think DPR were talking about speed of operation for DSLR users, the lack of a wheel in particular. It did take me some time to get used to the E-PL1's mode of operation, but now it's fine.

Damien
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fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: No Best Buy in Florida?

Sam Bennett wrote:

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

The problem is that it won't. Once there was discussion regarding E-PL1 focusing in low light and it transpired that the reports of horrible focusing were related to the use of kit lens. Once you get 20mm f1.7 Pany lens, low light focusing does not get in the way anymore. The problem is that you won't have Pany lens on E-Pl1 in best buy and E-PL1 kit lens is strictly for good light use.

Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
I'm not just talking about AF...

fermy wrote:

Sam Bennett wrote:

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

The problem is that it won't. Once there was discussion regarding E-PL1 focusing in low light and it transpired that the reports of horrible focusing were related to the use of kit lens. Once you get 20mm f1.7 Pany lens, low light focusing does not get in the way anymore. The problem is that you won't have Pany lens on E-Pl1 in best buy and E-PL1 kit lens is strictly for good light use.

First off, the performance I'm referring to is not AF performance. The jerkiness of the Live View demonstrated in that video has nothing to do with the lens - it has to do with the stability of the Live View output, which is less stable on the E-PL1 than on the GF1. As E-PL1 owners have pointed out, it's something you can minimize somewhat by only using certain focus modes. The shot-to-shot performance, likewise, has nothing to do with the lens - that's just the viewfinder blackout speed, which is not very good on the E-PL1 regardless of the settings you choose. It seems like a lot of people want to chalk up the E-PL1's performance problems to AF, but that's not the whole story. In fact, even with the pre-firmware update I didn't find the AF to be extremely problematic in of itself - my gripe was always the sum total of a variety of performance issues.

Second, the 20mm is not a magic bullet for the E-PL1's ability to focus in low light. Certainly it helps and will give you better results than the kit lens, but if you're focusing in truly low light the E-PL1 will poop out regardless - that's where the GF1's AF assist lamp can really save the day.

For the record, the linked video was shot with the same 20mm on each camera, but the E-PL1 was not using the new firmware that sped up AF performance.

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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,486
Consider EP1, it's cheaper

There are a few new old stock units floating around out there at very attractive prices.

Big advantage of the EP1 is the two thumbwheels, nice if you do manual exposure or even aperture mode. Having that long skinny thumbwheel right by your thumb is handy, even if the 2nd thumbwheel is not easy to use, it's mounted around the mode/navigate button, and it's easy to inadvertenly press that button while spinning the little ring. However, most of my thumbhweel use can be accomplished with the larger wheel.

Downside of the EP1 is you can't add the EVF.

The slow focus is related to the cheap kit lens. With a good CDAF enabled lens and the latest firmware update, the EP1 is a decent focuser. Not on the level of, say, a D300, but fast enough that it's not an impediment.

fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: I'm not just talking about AF...

LOL. You don't even own E-PL1, yet write with total conviction as if camera is in your possession right now. Having owned a camera for a couple of days does not make you an expert on it.

Sam Bennett wrote:

First off, the performance I'm referring to is not AF performance. The jerkiness of the Live View demonstrated in that video has nothing to do with the lens - it has to do with the stability of the Live View output, which is less stable on the E-PL1 than on the GF1. As E-PL1 owners have pointed out, it's something you can minimize somewhat by only using certain focus modes.

Jerkiness in liveview? Just drop this nonsense. You tried to use face detection and continuous AF, something I doubt many E-PL1 users would do. Stick to Single AF and liveview is very fluid, there is no lag whatsoever. So you can eliminate it completely, not "minimize somewhat".

The shot-to-shot performance, likewise, has nothing to do with the lens - that's just the viewfinder blackout speed, which is not very good on the E-PL1 regardless of the settings you choose.

The shot to shot performance is very decent if you are using continuous drive instead of single shot. This is not an action camera by any stretch of imagination, but you can get an action shot if you need it. GF-1, btw is not an action camera either.

It seems like a lot of people want to chalk up the E-PL1's performance problems to AF, but that's not the whole story. In fact, even with the pre-firmware update I didn't find the AF to be extremely problematic in of itself - my gripe was always the sum total of a variety of performance issues.

Another weird comment. AF speed was a major problem before firmware update. Your gripe was that you preferred GF-1 and shipped E-PL1 back instead of learning the camera. Which is fine, because if GF-1 works better for your right from the start, there is no reason why you should force yourself to love E-PL1. However, all your complaints remind me a bit another user who found E-PL1 maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 to be "a major PITA".

Second, the 20mm is not a magic bullet for the E-PL1's ability to focus in low light. Certainly it helps and will give you better results than the kit lens, but if you're focusing in truly low light the E-PL1 will poop out regardless - that's where the GF1's AF assist lamp can really save the day.

Shrug. E-PL1 with 20mm never pooped on me. So I don't know what "truly low light" you are talking about. Dark basement with no light? Essentially, 20mm has no problems to AF when the exposure is f1.7 1/10 @ ISO 3200 with -1EV underexposure. I certainly doubt that GF-1 is very useful at such light levels.

Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
Re: I'm not just talking about AF...

fermy wrote:

LOL. You don't even own E-PL1, yet write with total conviction as if camera is in your possession right now. Having owned a camera for a couple of days does not make you an expert on it.

I owned it for about a week and took about 800 shots. I've owned a lot of cameras over the years, so I don't think this is an unreasonable amount of time/use in which to form an informed opinion about a camera.

Jerkiness in liveview? Just drop this nonsense. You tried to use face detection and continuous AF, something I doubt many E-PL1 users would do. Stick to Single AF and liveview is very fluid, there is no lag whatsoever. So you can eliminate it completely, not "minimize somewhat".

First off, I was not using AF-C when testing, and not in the video I posted. I love Face Detect and not using it just so that the camera will perform without lag isn't really an option - why would I do that when I already have a camera that performs the way I would expect?

Look, if the lagginess thing isn't an issue for you - great! I'm not saying that the E-PL1 is a horrible camera and that anyone who owns one is a fool. It didn't work for my style of shooting - but that's just how I shoot, YMMV.

Unfortunately people take this video the wrong way and continue to make unnecessary excuses about the camera, all the while not providing any evidence to the contrary that the E-PL1 can perform as quickly as the GF1.

The shot-to-shot performance, likewise, has nothing to do with the lens - that's just the viewfinder blackout speed, which is not very good on the E-PL1 regardless of the settings you choose.

The shot to shot performance is very decent if you are using continuous drive instead of single shot. This is not an action camera by any stretch of imagination, but you can get an action shot if you need it. GF-1, btw is not an action camera either.

There's a difference between FPS performance and shot-to-shot performance. I'm not a "spray and pray" kind of guy - my problem with the E-PL1 is that it's hard to see what's going on through the LCD (even just for framing a non-"action" shot) due to the instable Live View feed and lengthy viewfinder blackout. Spraying-and-praying doesn't help with that because the image displayed during that mode isn't what the camera is currently seeing. The GF1 has this same problem with Continuous drive mode - which is why I don't use it. You're absolutely right that the GF1 isn't a great tool for shooting "action" - but that's missing the point.

It seems like a lot of people want to chalk up the E-PL1's performance problems to AF, but that's not the whole story. In fact, even with the pre-firmware update I didn't find the AF to be extremely problematic in of itself - my gripe was always the sum total of a variety of performance issues.

Another weird comment. AF speed was a major problem before firmware update.

Yes, I know. You seemed to be boiling what I was talking about and the video I posted down to "AF Speed" (as many others have) - my point was to say that it's not all about AF Speed. While the E-PL1 has had improvements in terms of AF Speed, I haven't seen any evidence that it's improved in the other areas.

Your gripe was that you preferred GF-1 and shipped E-PL1 back instead of learning the camera.

Umm, I "learned" the camera fine. I spent a lot of time tweaking, trying different things, etc. Ultimately I was not happy with the sacrifices I would have to make with it in terms of shooting how I want to shoot. At some point you have to decide whether something is the right tool for the application, and for me the answer was "no".

Which is fine, because if GF-1 works better for your right from the start, there is no reason why you should force yourself to love E-PL1. However, all your complaints remind me a bit another user who found E-PL1 maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 to be "a major PITA".

Well, while we're on the subject - yes, the 1/2000th limit, in combination with the ISO 200 is a major PITA if you want to be able to use the 20mm f/1.7 outdoors, wide-open to get shallow DoF with carrying around a bunch of ND filters. But that's probably best for another thread.

Shrug. E-PL1 with 20mm never pooped on me. So I don't know what "truly low light" you are talking about. Dark basement with no light? Essentially, 20mm has no problems to AF when the exposure is f1.7 1/10 @ ISO 3200 with -1EV underexposure. I certainly doubt that GF-1 is very useful at such light levels.

I think it really depends on the situation, but shooting people in low light was problematic for me and the E-PL1/20mm combo. If you're shooting something in low light that has a lot of contrast, distinct highlights, etc. you may be fine.

Bringing this back to the OP... the above is my perspective as a Nikon dSLR shooter who bought in to MFT. Whether my criteria applies to the way the OP shoots is for him to decide. But facts are facts, and we should be afraid of acknowledging the facts of a situation. The E-PL1 is a wonder of a camera - it provides fantastic portability, image quality, customization, has IBIS which enables IS even with esoteric 3rd party lenses, etc. - there's plenty of reasons to own an E-PL1. But it's not a great camera for everyone - the OP just needs to figure out which camp he falls into. He may, ultimately, decide that neither the E-PL1 nor the GF1 allows him to shoot in the way he shoots with his dSLR currently.

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fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: I'm not just talking about AF...

Sam Bennett wrote:

First off, I was not using AF-C when testing, and not in the video I posted. I love Face Detect and not using it just so that the camera will perform without lag isn't really an option - why would I do that when I already have a camera that performs the way I would expect? Look, if the lagginess thing isn't an issue for you - great! I'm not saying that the E-PL1 is a horrible camera and that anyone who owns one is a fool. It didn't work for my style of shooting - but that's just how I shoot, YMMV.

Exactly. If you wrote that face detect is unusable, I would not have an issue. I don't use face detect, so I can not tell. Maybe others would confirm/deny your experience. I use single frame autofocus and I don't see any lag at all in liveview . So it's not a matter of lag being unimportant, it is simply not there.

There's a difference between FPS performance and shot-to-shot performance. I'm not a "spray and pray" kind of guy - my problem with the E-PL1 is that it's hard to see what's going on through the LCD (even just for framing a non-"action" shot) due to the instable Live View feed and lengthy viewfinder blackout .

This I don't understand (the bold part) at all. The viewfinder blackout after shot is a fraction of a second. How can it prevent you from getting non-action shot ? What unstable liveview feed? You mean Live view is not stabilized as in IS not working in liveview? Otherwise live view on my E-PL1 is exactly what my lens sees at any given moment, not something it saw 2 seconds ago. There must be some major difference between out settings because I just don't understand what you are writing about. I really don't.

Spraying-and-praying doesn't help with that because the image displayed during that mode isn't what the camera is currently seeing. The GF1 has this same problem with Continuous drive mode - which is why I don't use it. You're absolutely right that the GF1 isn't a great tool for shooting "action" - but that's missing the point.

The point is that none of these cameras are very good at action and your best chance at getting an action shot is to set it to continuous drive, prefocus and jam the shutter. Maybe not your cup of tea, but that's how it is with these cameras.

While the E-PL1 has had improvements in terms of AF Speed, I haven't seen any evidence that it's improved in the other areas.

It's improved to the point of not getting in the way. I am not sure how it compares to GF-1 now. Essentially if you expect to capture fast changing action, you'd have to work around it's limitations. For anything else, it's just fine. Again, caveat is that I always use S-AF+MF.

Well, while we're on the subject - yes, the 1/2000th limit, in combination with the ISO 200 is a major PITA if you want to be able to use the 20mm f/1.7 outdoors, wide-open to get shallow DoF with carrying around a bunch of ND filters. But that's probably best for another thread.

Yeah, that's the silliness I was talking about. Actually any filter (not just ND) will take you to the same exposure as you'd get on GF-1. You need only one filter too as there is only one native fast lens. If all other problems that you are talking about are of the same magnitude...

I think it really depends on the situation, but shooting people in low light was problematic for me and the E-PL1/20mm combo. If you're shooting something in low light that has a lot of contrast, distinct highlights, etc. you may be fine.

It probably does, but I never had encountered the situation when this combo didn't work. Again, single frame AF is your friend.

Bringing this back to the OP... the above is my perspective as a Nikon dSLR shooter who bought in to MFT. Whether my criteria applies to the way the OP shoots is for him to decide. But facts are facts, and we should be afraid of acknowledging the facts of a situation.

The issue is that your facts do not match my facts. As if we were using 2 completely different cameras. So it's either settings issue or expectations issue or both.

Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,003
Re: E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

snegron wrote:

I know I probably won't get the speed of a DSLR with an E-PL1, but I have had faster point and shoots in the past (my old Lumix FZ-50 was faster than my LX3). I have the latest firmware upgrade in my LX3, but it simply feels a bit too slow.

have you seen the posts about the supposed faster operation of the LX5?

Not sure if this guy really knows how fast a DSLR operates or not but...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=36266570

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Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,393
Re: I'm not just talking about AF...

fermy wrote:

I'm not saying that the E-PL1 is a horrible camera and that anyone who owns one is a fool. It didn't work for my style of shooting - but that's just how I shoot, YMMV.

Exactly. If you wrote that face detect is unusable, I would not have an issue. I don't use face detect, so I can not tell.

Fair enough.

Maybe others would confirm/deny your experience. I use single frame autofocus and I don't see any lag at all in liveview . So it's not a matter of lag being unimportant, it is simply not there.

In your particular use.

There's a difference between FPS performance and shot-to-shot performance. I'm not a "spray and pray" kind of guy - my problem with the E-PL1 is that it's hard to see what's going on through the LCD (even just for framing a non-"action" shot) due to the instable Live View feed and lengthy viewfinder blackout .

This I don't understand (the bold part) at all. The viewfinder blackout after shot is a fraction of a second. How can it prevent you from getting non-action shot ?

I think part of the problem here is defining what's an "action shot", or not. Here's my version of an "action shot", from the professional work I do:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sambennett/3088600409/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sambennett/550469641/

For that kind of work, clearly, any MFT will be insufficient and I have no expectation that I'll ever be able to do this kind of work. The place I found the E-PL1 to be problematic is where either you or your subject is moving and you need to be able to track with that movement. You can see in the video my style of shooting. I don't just stand in one place while I'm shooting - I'm often reframing the shot as I go to get a more optimal angle, or get a few different angles to choose from. When shooting kids the focus is typically on the momement , so you may start shooting to capture the moment before you're in an optimal position, but keeping shooting while you get to that angle. With the E-PL1, it is very hard to reposition or track your subject since the Live View is unreliable (again, using Face Detect, at least).

What unstable liveview feed? You mean Live view is not stabilized as in IS not working in liveview? Otherwise live view on my E-PL1 is exactly what my lens sees at any given moment, not something it saw 2 seconds ago. There must be some major difference between out settings because I just don't understand what you are writing about. I really don't.

It may come down to Face Detect, that's all I can think. But you can see by the video that the Live View is "jerking" as you move around and re-focus. That's what I mean by "unstable". There's also a exposure "ramping" effect that's distracting.

The point is that none of these cameras are very good at action and your best chance at getting an action shot is to set it to continuous drive, prefocus and jam the shutter. Maybe not your cup of tea, but that's how it is with these cameras.

Again, I don't think you're really getting what I'm talking about in terms of shooting style. The bottom line is that the GF1 works well without having to Spray and Pray, so it's better suited for my style.

Yeah, that's the silliness I was talking about. Actually any filter (not just ND) will take you to the same exposure as you'd get on GF-1. You need only one filter too as there is only one native fast lens. If all other problems that you are talking about are of the same magnitude...

I often go between shooting indoors and outdoors, and removing and replacing an ND filter just isn't going to happen. I take my GF1 everywhere, usually sitting on my hip in a holster - I don't have a bag with me unless I'm out specifically to shoot. Again, since the GF1 gives me both a real ISO 100 and a 1/4000th shutter speed, it its just better suited to me in this regard.

Bringing this back to the OP... the above is my perspective as a Nikon dSLR shooter who bought in to MFT. Whether my criteria applies to the way the OP shoots is for him to decide. But facts are facts, and we should be afraid of acknowledging the facts of a situation.

The issue is that your facts do not match my facts. As if we were using 2 completely different cameras. So it's either settings issue or expectations issue or both.

I don't think you've really shown that the facts differ, you've just illustrated that the shooting style does.

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sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,326
Re: GF1 compares well against my D200

snegron wrote:

I have read the reviews of the E-PL1 here and I am looking into getting one. I currently have a Nikon D1X with buffer upgrade and a D200. I also have a Lumix LX3 and a TS1.

I have the GF1 instead of the E-PL1, but I also shoot with a Nikon D200 with 17-55mm f/2.8 (among other lenses) and I had a Lumix LX2 before the GF1 as my compact.

I would like a faster compact camera than my LX3 for travel and day to day carry. I find that the weight of either my D1X or my D200 with my Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 is a bit too much for day to day carry. I really like my LX3, but I find it to be a bit slow. I sometimes shoot with the external optical viewfinder attached on my LX3, and it seems to be a bit faster but not as fast as I'd like it to be.

This was my issue as well. I really wanted to carry a responsive and high quality camera with me on a daily basis, but my D200 with 17-55mm f/2.8 was out of the question. I tried carrying my old D70 (quite a bit lighter than my D200) with a 35mm f/2 prime and a lightweight 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom on a daily basis. Even if I just carried the D70+35mm prime it was pretty bulky and conspicuous. I really liked some things about the LX2, but I missed being able to get shallow depth of field when I wanted it. I also found the dynamic range to be limited and the camera was very sluggish to use...especially shooting RAW. The LX2 was also quite bad at anything over the base ISO. I considered upgrading to the LX3, but in the end decided that I would still be frustrated by the sluggishness and the lack of depth of field control. When you're used to a responsive DSLR it is difficult to deal with shutter lag and slow shot to shot performance.

I know I probably won't get the speed of a DSLR with an E-PL1, but I have had faster point and shoots in the past (my old Lumix FZ-50 was faster than my LX3). I have the latest firmware upgrade in my LX3, but it simply feels a bit too slow.

You may want to consider the GF1. It is very snappy. In fact it seems just as responsive as my D200 to me. Autofocus is super fast, no shutter lag, and shot to shot is quick as well... even shooting RAW. I have never tried one of the Oly cameras, but I went for the GF1 because all reviews said autofocus on the Panasonics outperforms autofocus on the Olys. That said Oly has improved AF speed with firmware, but I think the performance still varies from lens to lens and may still lag behind Panasonic overall.

I like the EP2, but I don't want to spend too much money at this time. The review of the E-PL1 here indicates that DSLR users will not be too thrilled with it, but I'm wondering if there are any DSLR users here who have been using an E-PL1 frequently?

The GF1 is available with the 20mm f/1.7 for as low as $724 online. In my opinion it's worth every penny... especially with the 20mm f/1.7 - a fantastic little lens. I'm as happy shooting with my GF1 as I am with my D200. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day the image quality is pretty comparable. The D200 is about a stop better in terms of high ISO, and maybe holds the highlights a little better; but differences in IQ are minor. I have shot the same subjects using both cameras, printed them out at 13x19, and you'd think I used the same camera to take both shots.

The D200 still has some advantages...especially when photographing action, using off-camera flashes, using autofocus with fast f/2.8 zooms, etc. But the GF1 has portability, it's inconspicuous, it shoots video, and I love the ability to compose and shoot in different aspect ratios. Of course it is tough to beat the manual switches and dials of the D200, but I find it pretty easy to change all of the crucial settings on the GF1 while I shoot. It's a responsive camera that seems well designed for photographers who want complete control over all the settings... and who don't want to be slowed down. And while the GF1 may not be a sport camera when compared to a typical DSLR, it's miles better than a compact P&S for action shots.

I also use a number of my Nikon lenses...especially my 50mm prime, on the GF1 with an adapter, but my typical daily carry kit is the GF1 with 20mm f/1.7 and 14-45mm zoom. The 45-200mm zoom is also astoundingly small and light for the amount of reach you get.

Sean

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